We have just returned from a holiday to France with our 3 young boys. We stayed on a fabulous campsite near Soissons for a week and then were supposed to stay at Camping du Château et de l'Oseraie for 3 days whilst touring the WWI Battlefield sites, war graves etc. We checked in fine, although the site is not signposted from the south and we couldn’t find it at first. The pitches are half grass and half gravel which is unfortunate if you are British as you have to pitch on the grass bit instead of the allocated gravel bit due to the door of the caravan opening on the other side. There are no pitches that cater for British caravans from what I could see, unless you have a motor mover. (Ours had unfortunately stopped working at the previous site). The site itself is OK, although the sanitary facilities are dirty and run-down, the showers tepid and the “bar” area is soul-less. You also have to pay a shocking €1.80 to pour your grey water away down their drain. The pool area is quite nice though and well maintained and there are nice hedges and flowers on site.
We spent the first evening (Thursday) fishing in the local lake. First mistake. There are no fish in these waters as the locals do not operate a catch and release system as we do, they take every tiny little tiddler home to eat meaning the course fish are long gone. Friday we saw the very moving cemeteries, bomb crater, museum etc, beautifully looked after by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission and well worth visiting. Both nights we were all in bed by 10.30pm listening to a lot of very loud French voices sitting outside the bar, including small children screaming and running about till gone midnight. But hey ho, we are not complainers. Saturday we went to Amiens to the stunning cathedral coming back to the site at about 5pm. It was a little rainy, so we settled down to watch a DVD as a family in our van at about 8.30pm.
At 8.45 my middle son who is 11 went, for the first time, to use the site toilets almost opposite our pitch, having used facilities at places we had visited and the caravan loo up to that point. But this time he needed a poo, so I told him to go and use the site loos, which he did. However, the loo was old and not of a design he had ever seen before almost like the old fashioned high cistern ones of days gone by, (quite apart from the fact that it had no loo-seat or toilet paper so he had to hover above the ceramic rim) . He looked for a lever or a chain and did not realise that there was a button to press on the chrome pipe leading up to the high cistern, mistaking it for a joint in the pipework. Having puzzled this he left the cubicle to come back to the caravan to ask me how to flush the loo. The owner of the site, 30 year old Gonzague Rauscent (and the Worlds Biggest Bully), was waiting for him as he came out and grabbed him by the shoulder bellowing at him that he was “A PIG” and shoved him back into the cubicle with such force that he hit his head on the opposite wall, all the while screaming at him over and over that he was an English Pig. My son, absolutely terrified and hurt, immediately started to cry and repeatedly say “sorry, sorry, sorry, sorry” and tried to run away towards our caravan in terror. My youngest boy who is 7 had witnessed the whole thing as he had wandered along there too and came running at me crying hysterically having seen this man attacking his brother. My husband and I ran from our caravan and were confronted by The Bully his face contorted in rage shouting that we were all ENGLISH PIGS and coming in so close to our faces that he was spitting at us. I simply stepped into the cubicle and pressed the flush button which then left no trace of anything.
The Bully proceeded to launch a terrifying verbal attack on us that lasted a full 20 minutes whilst all 3 of our children cried their eyes out and every other caravaner in the site stood on their pitch and watched aghast. Amongst other things he shouted that “all English are Pigs”, he called us “Fat English Gypsies” and gestured towards our caravan (we have a well kept, 2010, 6 Berth Bailey Senator Carolina), he repeatedly told us to “F**k off and go”, he called me a “disgusting fat pig” whilst blowing his cheeks out and holding his arms out at the sides (I am a fairly normal Size 14). He shouted that as a child his mother would have hit him for not flushing the loo and I should have hit my son as he had(!). I called him a bully and he agreed that yes he is a bully. My husband wanted to call the Gendarmes at this point as there are CCTV cameras everywhere and the assault on our child would have been recorded, but The Bully simply pulled out our electricity cable screaming for us to leave and kept shouting for us to leave “faster, go faster, leave faster, f**k off you English Pigs”. All the while his wife Constance, who is pregnant, stood mute by his side looking as frightened of him as we were, poor thing.
It would normally take us about 25 minutes to pack up, but we had no time, having to the throw things into the middle of the caravan floor and leave the front bed made up as a double etc. He threatened to get a local farmer to pull us out with a tractor, as he “had done this before to English Pigs”. He also said that he would call the local sites to make sure they didn’t let us on. I told him I would write a review of his tyrannical behaviour on Trip Advisor and he just laughed saying that he didn’t care if he never got another UK visitor as we were all disgusting pigs and that he would write a reply rubbishing me. (So stand by for a nasty vindictive and entirely made up account from this horrible, horrible man, and please take it with a pinch of salt). He also threatened to get us chucked out of the Caravan Club as he was an affiliate (he’s not) and screamed many other horrible nasty things, too numerous the mention, all at top volume.
So he threw us off the site, at 9 at night, with 3 terrified and crying children with nowhere to go and did not care one bit, all because my child didn’t know how to flush the loo. Shell-shocked we drove straight to Calais and got on the next ferry home, cutting short our holiday by 2 days. The abusive Gonzague Rauscent clearly has anger issues and hates British people, which is all the more sad after visiting the graves of 420,000 British soldiers who gave their lives defending the Somme area in 1916. Please choose another site if you are planning to holiday in this area!